Parvo outbreak in the Valley

A DEADLY Parvo Virus outbreak has been identified in the Lockyer Valley, putting all dogs at risk.

It is a contagious disease that can harm and kill dogs and it is spread extremely easily by their human friends.

To help your pooch and keep them safe from this harmful virus, it is vital to vaccinate or pay costly treatment to keep them alive.

Even with treatment, they still may not survive.

Dr Karen Leahy from Gatton Veterinary Surgery said they first started treating affected dogs a few weeks ago but now they were seeing several cases a day and the situation is getting out of control.

She said all dogs are at risk and owners must ensure their pooches are up to date with their vaccinations.

“Unfortunately due to the nature of the disease we have had to euthanize a few animals which is heart-breaking work,” Dr Leahy said.

“We are urging people to get their dogs vaccinated,” she said.

The costly medicine can hit dog owners with between $500 and $1500 in fees to pay for drip fluids and other medicine; depending on how long your dog needs to be hospitalised for.

“It is a viral disease and symptoms include vomiting, diarrhoea that leads to bloody stools, lethargy and depression – it is extremely painful,” she said.

“Dogs are the only animal susceptible to this particular virus and people shouldn't take their puppies out of their house or yard until they are fully vaccinated.”

She said puppies must be vaccinated at six, nine and 12 weeks of age as soon as you get your pup if has not been previously vaccinated.

“The virus is spread by exposure to contaminated soil and faeces, and can be carried unintentionally on the bottom of your shoes, hands and even car tyres, or directly from one affected dog to another,” Dr Leahy said.

“The floods would have spread it further as it is highly contagious and thrives in warm and wet conditions.”

She stressed the importance of calling the surgery ahead for animals displaying symptoms so the veterinarians see the animal as soon as possible.

“We urge people to ring up first and upon arrival to keep their dog in the car,” Dr Leahy said.

“A Parvo test is then performed on the dog to determine if the virus is present, to protect other animals coming into the surgery.”

For more information contact the Gatton Veterinary Surgery on 5462 1343.

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